How Many Smart Meters can be Deployed in a GSM cell?

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The need to deploy large number of wireless devices, such as electricity or water meters, is becoming a key challenge for any utility. Furthermore, such a deployment should be functional for more than a decade. Many cellular operators consider LTE to be the single long term solution for wide area connectivity serving all types of wireless traffic. On the other hand, GSM is a well-adopted technology and represents a valuable asset to build M2M infrastructure due to the good coverage, device maturity, and low cost. In this paper we assess the potential of GSM/GPRS/EDGE to operate as a dedicated network for M2M communications. In order to enable M2M-dedicated operation in the near future, we reengineer the GSM/GPRS/EDGE protocol in a way that requires only minor software updates of the protocol stack. We propose different schemes to boost the number of M2M devices in the system without affecting the network stability. We show that a single GSM cell can support simultaneous low-data rate connections (e. g. to smart meters) in the order of 104 devices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2013). IEEE, 2013.
EditorsDong-In Kim, Peter Mueller
Number of pages6
PublisherIEEE Communications Society
Publication date2013
Pages1263 - 1268
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-5753-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 9 Jun 201313 Jun 2013


Conference2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC)


  • M2M communications
  • m2m
  • smart meters
  • gsm
  • gprs
  • edge


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